Italian Ambassador to Russia said that extension of anti-Russia sanctions will be considered by the leaders of the EU (European Union) member states at the European Council slated for Dec. 17-18.
The extension of anti-Russia sanctions will be considered by the leaders of the EU member states at the European Council slated for December 17-18, Italian Ambassador to Russia Cesare Maria Ragaglini said Friday.
“This issue should be addressed at the level of heads of governments and heads of states, and it will be considered at the next meeting of the European Council,” the envoy told RIA Novosti.
According to the envoy, Italy believes that such a complex and sensitive issue deserves a review and discussion rather than automatic prolongation of the sanctions.
The issue of extending the duration of sanctions against Russia will be in the agenda of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting that will be held in Brussels on Monday, according to a source.
The European Union may take a decision to extend the economic sanctions against Russia before Catholic Christmas, a source close to the EU leadership told reporters Friday.
Relations between Russia and the European Union went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis, imposing several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.
The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on products originating in states that imposed sanctions, in August 2014. The ban has since been extended for another year.
The European Union’s economic sanctions against Russia are set to expire in January. (PNA/Sputnik)